Police: Person who killed Draper officer among wounded

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:27 PM

The Associated Press

DRAPER -- The shooting that killed a Draper police officer early Sunday was caused by one or both of the civilians who are hospitalized with critical injuries, police said.

Investigators do not believe any additional suspects were involved in the gunfire that killed Sgt. Derek Johnson, Draper City Police Chief Bryan Roberts said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.

The incident began around 6 a.m. when police received an unintelligible radio call from Johnson, Roberts said, followed by 911 calls from residents reporting gunshots near 13800 South and Fort Street.

Officers arriving on the scene found Johnson had been wounded, along with the man and woman.

Johnson was transported to Intermountain Medical Center, where he later died.

The man and woman, whose identities have not been released, are still in critical condition.

Roberts said 32-year-old Johnson was a father, husband and an eight-year veteran of the Draper City Police Department.

“He was a very dedicated, devoted and highly decorated police officer,” he said.

Draper City Mayor Darrell Smith, who appeared with Roberts at the news conference, said he met with Johnson’s wife and family at their home earlier Sunday.

“They’re wonderful people who have suffered a tremendous and tragic loss,” he said.

Johnson worked in police investigations, patrols and community policing efforts and always had a positive attitude, Smith said.

“I’ve known Derek for many years and he is one of the best, most qualified sergeants on our force,” he said.

Police would not release details about the man and woman or how the shooting started. Roberts and Smith read statements at a news conference Sunday afternoon but did not take questions.

Law enforcement officers from agencies around the Salt Lake City area had set up a police perimeter for part of the city earlier Sunday, but opened it up during the afternoon.

Roberts said only part of Fort Street is still closed as investigators treat it as a crime scene. Residents on Fort Street from Walden Lane to 13300 South have been asked to stay in their homes until further notice, Roberts said.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder and members of the City Council appeared at the news conference with Roberts, who appeared visibly shaken.

Roberts said the Unified Police Department, which Winder oversees, is investigating the case.

Resident Kris Szelag told The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News that she heard a gunshot and what sounded like a car crash around 5:30 a.m. and saw emergency crews pulling an officer out of his police car and beginning CPR until a medical helicopter arrived and flew him to the hospital.

Szelag says she then saw police with assault weapons and K-9 units patrolling the streets.

Smith said the city is planning a candlelight vigil outside the Draper City Hall at 8 p.m. Sunday.

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